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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Two weeks until pitchers and catchers report

Danny Coulombe reaches a deal, Aaron Hicks heads out west, and more in today’s Bird Droppings

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two
Danny Coulombe, new contract in hand, will be among the pitchers reporting to spring training soon.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

For those Orioles fans who are also Ravens fans, how are you feeling? Now that you’ve had a full day to digest what happened on Sunday, are you any less annoyed/disappointed/angry? Or is that loss still going to stick in your craw for a while, much like the Orioles’ three-and-out sweep by the Rangers in last year’s ALDS?

With the NFL season now finished in Baltimore, local fans’ attention can shift to the Orioles. Well...eventually. Frankly there’s not much going on with the Orioles right now, either. It’s another two weeks until pitchers and catchers report, and there’s no indication that the O’s are going to make any significant roster moves before then. Not unless you count their agreement on contract terms with arbitration-eligible players, including yesterday’s deal with Danny Coulombe for a $2.3 million salary in 2024 and a $4 million option for 2025. Exciting stuff!

There was also some news involving a now ex-Oriole, Aaron Hicks, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Angels. Good for Hicks, who was a really nice addition for the Birds last year when Cedric Mullins’ injuries could have torpedoed the team. Hicks provided some clutch moments for the Orioles and restored his value after the Yankees had unceremoniously dumped him midseason. Now he’s got a new home, and the Yankees are still footing the bill.

We won’t have to wait long for Hicks’s return to Baltimore — the O’s host the Angels on Opening Day. I’ll clap politely for him, but he better not go off playing the hero and hitting a game-winning homer or something. That, I won’t clap for.

Links

Ortiz and Mayo ignore trade talk, Mountcastle and McCann happy with health (Coulombe update) - Blog
Joey Ortiz probably knows he should be starting in the major leagues somewhere, but he’s saying all the right things about just staying focused and waiting for his opportunity. Seems like a good dude, but it’s hard to see how there’s room for him with the Orioles right now.

Do O’s need more homers? Coaches weigh in, plus other Caravan notes - Steve Melewski
Need? No, but I’ll take ‘em anyway.

Orioles’ Tate excited about coming back; Coulombe avoids arbitration - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dillon Tate says that the Orioles, who won 83 games in 2022 and 101 in 2023, will see their record “continue trending the way that it is.” I’m taking that to mean that Dillon Tate is predicting 119 wins for the Orioles in 2024.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 81st birthday to Davey Johnson, the 25th-best player in Orioles history (as ranked by this very blog) and probably one of the club’s five best managers, too, despite his all-too-brief stint. Other former Orioles born on Jan. 30 include right-hander Joe Kerrigan (70) and the late first baseman Walt Dropo (b. 1923, d. 2010).

On this date in 2003, Cal Ripken Jr. was elected into the Orioles Hall of Fame. The blurb from Baseball Reference notes that it was a “unanimous vote” by the local media. That’s a relief. Imagine if there was an O’s writer who decided not to vote Cal Ripken into the Orioles Hall of Fame? Cal’s induction ceremony was held on Sept. 6 of that year, the eighth anniversary of his record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game.